Tag Archives: requirements

Ramsey: New Restrictions on Unemployment Benefits Saving State Money

News release from Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey’s office:
( NASHVILLE) – Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) today praised the successful administration of the Unemployment Accountability Act of 2012, which saved taxpayers over $100,000 dollars in its first seven weeks.
“Our unemployment reform was designed to restore accountability and efficiency to our unemployment system and make the system work for both job seekers and job creators,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “By strengthening the work search requirement and the definition of misconduct, we are restoring the intent of the system and making the lives of our small business owners easier while saving taxpayer dollars. I’m extremely pleased at the impact we have made.”
As proscribed by the Unemployment Accountability Act of 2012, the Department of Labor and Workforce development performs random audits of 1,000 people receiving unemployment benefits to confirm they are actively seeking work. Of the 6,164 audits completed so far, 402 people were found to have failed to meet the requirements to continue receiving benefits. The state of Tennessee has saved over $100,000 in overpaid benefits.
“These numbers coming after such a short time are extremely encouraging,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “By making sure these payments go only to those qualified to receive them, we help job creators stay in business, aid the unemployed in their job search and protect taxpayers from fraud and abuse. This is a strong, early victory for this reform.”
“This is welcome news to those of us who fight hard to protect the interests of small business and taxpayers everyday,” said Sen. Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) who sponsored the legislation. “I’m proud to have been a part of this critical reform of our state government.”
The Unemployment Insurance Accountability Act of 2012 strengthened the definition of employee misconduct to ensure that those who have been fired for cause no longer receive benefits. The act also enacted new work search requirements for unemployment beneficiaries. Those collecting unemployment benefits must provide detailed information regarding contact with at least three employers per week or must access services at a career center. The act also provides for random audits to ensure the integrity of beneficiaries’ job searches.

AG Says Some Discrimination on Residence is OK

Responding to questions posed by state Sen. Stacey Campfield, Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper says city and county governments can dictate where their employees live while both state and local governments can give some preferential treatment to businesses located within their boundaries.
Campfield, R-Knoxville, says he sought the opinions “for clarity, mostly” in light of a prior Cooper opinion saying that a state law restricting liquor store licenses to Tennessee residents is unconstitutional. (Note: The full opinion is HERE.)
In the June opinion on liquor licenses, Cooper said the prohibition against out-of-state ownership violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The new opinion says that local government residency requirements for employees have “only a negligible effect” on interstate commerce.
“Second, where the local government acts as an employer, its conduct is generally exempt from Commerce Clause restrictions under the ‘market participant’ exception. Under this exception, where a government acts in its more general capacity of market participant, it may favor its own citizens over others without violating the Commerce Clause,” the opinion says.
The opinion also cites a 1976 state Supreme Court decision upholding a Memphis’ ordinance requiring employees of the city to live within Memphis, which had been attacked on other constitutional grounds.

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